Spring Greens and Quinoa Salad

This salad started as a Sunday volunteer lunch-feed, but the enormous bowl continued to support us for several more meals in slightly altered variations.  Even if your schedule is busy with things other than planting, weedind, and wrangling animals, you may still appreciate the two meals from one start, and a great way to use a pile of fresh spring greens.  

First-round:  Chilled Quinoa and Greens Salad

Several hours before the meal, cook 2 cups quinoa (or substitute your favorite noodles for a pasta salad). After cooking, cool the cooked grain or noodles in the fridge.  

While quinoa cools, finely chop one half-pound bag of Arugula, and one half-pound bag of cooking mix or spicy greens.  Grate 1 bunch radishes and set aside.  

Mix the Dressing:  in a wide-mouth pint jar, or a blender, combine: 4 tablespoons olive oil, 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablspoon water, 1 teaspoon blackberry jam, and 3 tablespoons minced chives.  Blend till smooth with an immersion blender or standard blender (add salt and black pepper to taste).  

When quionoa is cool, toss together with chopped greens and dressing.  Top with grated radishes, and serve.  

Second Round:  Sausage and Salad Tacos  

To authentically re-create this working lunch, you should first, one to two years before planning this meal, befriend a nice farming or homesteading family. This will bring you many benefits, the most relevant to this recipe being that you may happen to have on hand some delicious home-grown sausage that they happened to drop off on their last visit.  If you are vegetarian or vegan, you could substitute some extra onion, garlic, and/or mushrooms to make your tacos instead, but I still recommend making the friends.  

Cook sausage (4-6 oz per person) in heavy pan till browned. Add 1/4 cup of finely chopped onions for each person, and a pinch of crushed red chilies.  Stir in 1-2 cups of the leftover quinoa per person, and stir till heated through and the sausage bits are evenly distributed.  

Scoop into warmed corn tortillas, and serve topped with cheese and salsa or additional red chili flakes.